Who is your favorite cartoon family? It is not an easy question. It is? When I ask myself, I immediately remember The Simpsons. Other ideas that come to mind are the Family Guy family and some from South Park, like Stan’s. Let’s take a walk through these classic depictions of suburban life in the 21st century and see what they have to say about us today. In reality, they are more revealing than anyone could imagine at first glance.
The Simpsons burst onto the scene with great force in the late 1980s. No one could forget the rebellious Bart, the symbol of every child who just wants to have fun and not do his homework. But his cartoon family as a whole is very broad and uniform. For example, Lisa balances Bart by being a worker who plays the saxophone and does good. And Homer’s antics as a lazy nuclear plant employee contrast lovingly with his wife, Marge’s awareness of her family as a whole. She is always effortlessly taking care of her baby Maggie. It’s just great.
Then with The Family Guy, we again see some similar dynamics. For example, Father Peter looks a lot like Homer, without being so annoying. And he also has his trusty wife Lois. However, children are a bit more rare. I really don’t understand what is going on with your older son.
And finally with South Park we see some funny American family stereotypes unfold. From the white trash of Kenny’s family, where his mother always wears his “I’m With Stupid” t-shirt, to Stan’s Jewish family, everything is so over the top it’s hard to take offense. There are a lot of funny cartoon families up for grabs here.
But what do all these say about us? Well, since they are cartoons, they really highlight a lot of the nonsense that we assume to be true on a daily basis. But in The Simpsons in particular there is always some kind of uplifting moment at the end of the episode. This ties it all together so well that he almost accepts our imperfections as endearing. So be it. After all, we are not God.